Panama City Beach residents to receive flood insurance premium discounts

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 8:46 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A number of flooding events have taken place in Panama City Beach over the last year, and the city has been hard at work to help ease some of the issues that have resulted from floods. For those who have flood insurance and live in the city, that hard work is paying off.

The city announced on Monday FEMA has upgraded it from a Class Eight on its community rating system (CRS) to a Class Five as it pertains to flooding. The scale measures how much has been done in a community to help mitigate flooding issues on a scale of one to ten, with one being the best and the upgrade carries with it around a 25% discount for flood insurance premiums.

“We’ve leapfrogged from an eight to a five, which is considerable,” said Tony O’Rourke, City Manager for Panama City Beach. “Usually you tend to move in increments of one rating point. In this case, it was three, which is significant. Everything from ensuring proper floodplain mapping, drainage mitigation, open space preservation, these are the types of things that help reduce flood risk.”

While the number may be a little different for everyone, according to the city someone paying $400 for their premium could see it drop to as low as $300. More than 12,000 households in the city will be eligible for the discount, with an expected total savings of nearly around $452,039 between them.

The city doesn’t want to stop there.

“And that new rating now puts us in the top 15 percentile of all the cities in the state of Florida that are rated,” O’Rourke said. “So that’s great, we’re in elite company. I’m only aware of a couple of cities in the country that are a one, so that’s our goal”

Bay County as a whole is also rated a Class Five by the program.

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